Themed gardens for children

Information sheet

Why not choose a favourite story, book or character as a theme for your school garden.

  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s):

Are your children tired of planting potatoes and beans each year? Are you looking for new ways to keep you children excited about growing? Try creating a themed garden, and match your gardening activities to whatever is inspiring them at present.
Here are some suggestions that will help children develop plant and horticultural knowledge whilst having bags of fun exploring stories and topics that have gripped their imaginations.

Mr McGregor’s Garden 

This garden can be developed in a small area, perhaps 1m x 1m. Create the theme by hanging a little blue jacket and/or a cloth cap on a stick. Model rabbits can often be purchased from garden centres.
Choose quick-cropping vegetables to grow in neat, labelled rows. For example: Radish ‘Jolly Speedy’ or a white variety such as ‘Mino’, small lettuce varieties such as ‘Tom Thumb’, salad cress and spring onions. You may be able to edge the garden with bricks – in the story; Peter Rabbit jumped over the wall and then crawled under a gate. Metre lengths of picket fencing can be picked up from garden centres too. The creativity can be endless!

The Princess and the Pea

Build this theme by placing a toy castle in the middle of your growing space. The growing area depends on how thick and impenetrable you wish your pea forest to be! Recommended varieties include ‘Misty’ and ‘Sugar Ann’ which are lovely and sweet eaten raw. You can start them off anytime from March onwards. Randomly scatter the pea seeds around the castle and plant them where they land.
Now all you need to create the forest is to support the peas. Any twiggy sticks will do. The fun can be extended by planting an aptly named rose nearby such as ‘Princess Louise’.


Harry Potter Garden

The Harry Potter stories are full of plant references. Here are a few suggestions, avid Harry fans will know many more. The children can decide the planting plan themselves depending on the space available and the plants they choose.

Theme ideas:

• Collect twigs to make a Nimbus 2000 broomstick to place in the garden.
• Place an owl statue on a bird table to represent Hedwig. Have a look in garden centres for owl models.
• Make little wooden signs saying The Owlery, Herbology Greenhouses, Hagrid’s Hut, Keep out – Forbidden Forest
• Pebble or stone edging. One could be painted red for the Philosopher’s Stone.
• A cauldron
Look for plants mentioned in the books such as Lavender, sage and Geranium.

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